Oak and Acorn

August 13th, 2016

Wow, nearly a month since my last post – I really intended to do better!

Many years ago, I started a quilt for an antique bed that we inherited. I wanted it to enhance the bed which had carved acorn shapes on the posts, so I chose the Oakleaf and Acorn block. I hand appliqued the leaves and acorns in varying shades of burgundy reproduction prints on many shades of cream traditional background fabrics. The backgrounds of the blocks alternate between one solid fabric or pieced four patches of four different fabrics, so the resulting quilt top is quite scrappy while still remaining basically a two color quilt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The blocks are 15″ square and there are 20 of them set 4 x 5 and surrounded by a border of a burgundy oak and acorn print with a narrow gold accent. Because It is a special quilt and I hand appliqued all of the blocks I had to hand quilt it as well. I decided to put excessive amounts of quilting so everything is outlined in a double row of stitches, a quarter inch (eyeballed), then another double row of stitches. The background fabrics are quilted in a grid of 1/2″ spaced lines. I considered adding more lines to end with a 1/4″ grid, but even I think that is excessive! When I started, I did all of the outlining on all 20 blocks. then started on the leaves and acorns and did a few backgrounds to get the feel of how it would look. I am using a taupe quilting thread and a size 12 needle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eventually, I put it away and was only getting it out whenever I had a hand quilting class to teach. At that rate, especially since I retired from teaching, it was never going to be finished. So, a month or so ago, I decided to get it out and start quilting a little every day; I’ve only missed a few days. I thought it would be more rewarding to completely finish each block rather than continue to do a certain element throughout and today I have 8 blocks, the first two rows, totally finished. That is gratifying and it keeps me from falling asleep while watching TV!

Click on the Hand quilting tag to see a photo of another of the blocks in progress from seven years ago!!

This past week I had my first cataract surgery so that will slow me down some. Things are a little blurry now. I will have the other eye done in 2 weeks. The lenses that I’m getting implanted are for distance, so I will eventually need glasses for reading and quilting. In the meantime I will still try to quilt every day as long as I can!

I’m Back!

July 16th, 2016

It’s been too long since I have posted here!¬† I’ve worked through¬† – or accepted that my computer is different now.¬† It seems to be doing most of what I need for it to do.

Also my camera issues.¬† I really don’t understand cameras so I paid for an hour of one on one instruction to help me to get the sharp photo that I needed for an upcoming book.¬† It did not help. After struggling with f-stops and other buttons and dials, my contact person at the book told me to use the focus ring and that certainly helped.¬† Why did my paid instructor not tell me that??? Maybe it is just so basic everyone else already knows?¬† Anyway the resulting pictures were not perfect but so much better, they were acceptable. I am thinking that when Fall Semester starts up, I may take a basic photography class. It can’t hurt!

I have finished the machine quilting on the Kansas Flint Hills landscape and I am quite pleased with how it came out.  I have had it on the design wall for a few days now,  and I have decided that I will finish it with a faced edge, because I want to emphasize the vast openess of the scene and not have it confined by a binding.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have received word that “After The Storm” has been accepted to IQF in Houston this fall, so¬† that is exciting!!

AfterTheStorm

Computer Problems

June 5th, 2016

I have been without access to the internet (except for my iPhone) for a week. Yesterday a technician came out and got it fixed for me, so now I will try to get used to my newly upgraded system and get caught up on a week’s worth of work! Some of my old programs no longer work with the upgrade so I have to find solutions.

Progress has been made on the quilting of the Flint Hills piece, it is well over half finished now and looking good!

Chicago is old news now but I will go ahead and show just a few more photos. The skyline from Lake Michigan at the start of the Architectural River Cruise, it was chilly, an overcast day, but luckily no rain.

Skyline

The skyscrapers,Trump is everywhere!

ChiRiverCruise

the tallest building, Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) 103 stories, (we went to the top. Cars below looked like Matchbox toys and the people like ants. I did not step out onto the glass platform – looking out the windows was bad enough!

TallestBldg

And the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park near the art museum. By the end of the week the skies had cleared and the weather was perfect!

CloudGate

More Chicago

May 26th, 2016

Some other paintings I enjoyed at the Art Institute of Chicago last week were Claude Monet’s “Wheatstacks(End of Summer)”

MonetHaystackmonetBrushwork

Camille Pissarro’s ” Haymaking at Eragny”

 

HaymakingAtEragniand Mary Cassatt’s “La Toilet” and “Woman Reading in a Garden”.Cassatt2Cassatt

I couldn’t get photos of everything I liked at the Art Institute, there were SO many!¬† The paintings, the antiquities, the furnishings, the sculpture!!
EndTrailIntoSun
Too much to fit into one visit, if I lived there I would be a member for sure, and spend a day or more at a time in each exhibit!

Chicago

May 23rd, 2016

We spent last week in Chicago and I only had my phone so didn’t even try to post. I decided that it would be a good time to put my laptop in for a tuneup while we were gone, and it does seem to be running faster.

One day we went to the Art Institute of Chicago. There were no quilts, but I found an appliqued Samuri vest

AppliqueSamuriVest

and a weaving which could inspire a half-square triangle quilt.

weavingWeaving2

It was fun to see the original paintings of some of the works we studied in Art History, such as Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jette”. It’s huge! 7×10′;

Seurat

one of Vincent van Gogh’s “Self Portrait”s (wonderful brushwork),

vanGoghvanGoghBrushwork

Paul Gauguin’s Mahana Aucun Atua Finland”.

Gauguin

I’ll show you more later!

Focus Friday – Blooming Trellis

May 13th, 2016

Today for Focus Friday, I am featuring “Blooming Trellis”, just because it’s spring and everything is blooming like crazy!

This pattern makes a bed quilt, approximately 72 X 84″. It is made up of a combination of two different 12″ blocks that come together to form the lovely trellis design. Simple piecing makes a striking quilt for your bed!

450BloomingTR

Blooming Trellis -INNOVATIONS# 05946             $9.00
Click on PATTERNS in the side bar to order.

The Sample quilt is for sale. Machine pieced and machine quilted, it is $2000.00. Email for details.

Busy Week

May 8th, 2016

It’s been a busy week. Classes finished except for one last critique session next Tuesday.¬† I hope I continue to paint and do my Yoga through the summer.

I found a little time to machine quilt on the Kansas landscape and it it coming along nicely. The bird feeders are just outside the studio window by my sewing machine, so I have been enjoying the many different birds that come. A couple of very special ones this week was a Rose Breasted Grosbeak and an Orchard Oriole.

roseBrGrosbeak

He has been here before. He stops in for a break on his way to wherever his nesting ground must be.  I wish he would stay here with us, he is gorgeous!

I didn’t know what I was seeing with the Orchard Oriole. I knew it was an oriole because it was on the Hummingbird feeder and was marked like an Oriole, but it was smaller and very dark. Black and a deep, almost black russet.¬† I friend identified it for me and I looked it up in the bird books. I was afraid, like the Grosbeak, that it was just passing through, but the next day it was still here and I also saw the female, a pretty green bird, so, fingers crossed, I hope they will stay and nest here!

The Seasonal Palette exhibit with my December Dawn

DecDawn450

is showing now in Taiwan and Betty Busby posted this photo that she took of it.

SPTaiwan

It’s fun to see how they have displayed it. Starting on the left with the wintertime quilts you progress through the seasons. Mine is way over on the far left. The exhibit has one more showing here in the states then December Dawn will go on to it’s new home!

Focus Friday- Baltimore Album – Baltimore Oriole

April 29th, 2016

A few days ago I had my first sighting this year of the male Baltimore Oriole at the Hummingbird feeder – such a gorgeous bird! Usually the Hummingbirds are back before the Orioles but so far this year I have not seen any. I wonder if bad weather south of us has interfered with their migration and even if they will make it this year.oriole

We usually have at least two pairs of Orioles nesting in our yard and it is fun to see them at our feeders. They are so beautiful that I wanted to design a quilted wallhanging about them. This little 24 x 24″ piece combines piecing in the style of the Baltimore Album block, and applique. I like to make my applique designs in simple shapes that are easy to sew by hand or machine, which is the case for this bird. But I have to admit that those leaves, which are actual shapes from my Porcelain Berry Vine are anything but simple! But they are beautiful and I recommend fusing and zigzagging the raw edges in this case, which makes it very do-able! Porcelain Vine berries are not orange, but I thought a little artistic license was in order to compliment the bird. I hope you will want to make one for yourself or for your bird loving friend! Click on PATTERNS in the side bar to order.

Baltoriole

Baltimore Album/Baltimore Oriole, INNOVATIONS #03838¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 24 x 24″¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† $9.00

The machine pieced, machine appliqued and machine quilted pattern sample is for sale, $300.00. Email for details.

Catching Up

April 25th, 2016

Last week, I finished the watercolor of the Giant Swallowtail on the Zinnias.¬† It’s hard to know when to stop.¬† Perhaps I should have stopped sooner, but at least I did finally stop!¬† My favorite watercolors are those that look fresh and spontaneous, and not overworked. This was beginning to go there!GiantSwallowtail

I started a new one, of my late Komondor, Griffin.¬† I used mask to define the edges of some of his cords and let the background wash flow down into that area to give depth and shadow. After lifting some of the color and softening the edges of the masked area, I am ready to attempt the definition of the cords. My instructor, Ye, said “Oh, another complicated one!” I think he does not quite know what to do with me!griffWatercolor1

I also finally made my offering for this year’s SAQA¬† 12 x 12″ Benefit Auction.¬† The deadline is coming up so I decided this year to forego my usual pieced format and go with a whole cloth hand dyed piece.¬† When I first saw this piece of fabric, I saw within it, a woodland scene. It reminded me of looking ahead through the trees to what might be a clearing up ahead, so I free motion machine quilted the trees and the foreground foliage.¬† I think I might call it “Through The Trees”.¬† 12x12-2016450

Focus Friday – Bluebird

April 22nd, 2016

It must really be spring when you see that first flash of blue that means the Bluebirds are back! There is nothing quite like it, they really are special!

My series of Picture Piecing patterns includes this one, simply called “Bluebird”.

Bluebirdpat

I have done the hard part for you, the plotting of the seam lines, so all you have to do is to follow the numerical order and color coding to sew the pieces together – all straight seams! It’s a super fun and satisfying way to have your own Bluebird of happiness right in your own home!

BluebirdDet

“Bluebird” INNOVATIONS #09355 24 x 24″¬† –¬†¬† $9.00

The workshop sample has already sold, but this pattern cover sample, machine pieced and free motion machine quilted,  is for sale at $300.00.